Hosting Performance Contest – July 2016 Roundup (14 Hosts Fight)

hosting performance contest July 2016

Here’s the sixth Monthly Hosting Performance Contest Roundup for July 2016!
I’ve been testing 14 hosts in a non-stop manner the whole month and you are about to see the results right now. The competing for the title of the best hosts in July Contest was intense!

By the way, you can find the latest roundups here and the performance tables and charts here.

This month I added GreenGeeks to compete in the middle class hosting category. Let’s see how all the hosts stand against each other!


Common Information


As you may already know, I’ve been monitoring the performance of some of the best hosting providers I know as well as some other well-known hosts.

In short, since 2013 I’ve been picking out great hosts judging by real users reviews, professional hosting community opinion, long honorable business experience and other factors which make a great hosting.

And I buy anonymously hosting accounts with different hosts in order to closely monitor their performance (basically, uptime checked every minute and full page load time checked every 15 minutes) using a professional monitoring service monitis.com. I buy the most basic and the cheapest plan of each hosting. You can read about my monitoring methodology here.

And I’m happy to share these statistics with you so that you could see how these hosts perform and who is the best from the best!

You can find some real-time performance charts on my recommended hosts page for the hosting which I’ve been recommending and monitoring.

Also, you can see real-time monitoring charts for all hosts that I am monitoring on this page. In addition, the page contains monthly historical data on hosting performance (speed, uptime, satisfactory apdex) – very interesting and useful.

Besides, you may read more information about this Hosting Performance Contest on this page. I will be adding monthly and yearly Contest results on the page too.

And other monthly Hosting Performance Contest roundups are available from here.

By the way, here’s a disclosure: There are some affiliate links on this page. In other words, I get paid if you click on the links and make a purchase. All such links open in new window/tab; no software/program will be installed to your computer. (This is a standard notice required by hosting companies.)

 

July 2016 Hosting Performance Contest – Results

Here are the fourteen hosts that you can compare this month. I’ve broken down them in three groups: very affordable (below $4/mo), middle class (upto $8/mo) and more expensive ($8+/mo).

You’ll see a breakdown of hosting performance by prices in the sections below.

And before all let’s see an overview of the hosting performance in the order of how the hosts performed in general regardless of how affordable or expensive the hosts are.

winner cup - hosting performance contest Roundup July 2016The winner of this month’s contest is InMotionHosting! A couple of months ago it did not make to the top due to a bit lower uptime. But since then its performance is stably great.
Very close to the top go several hosts: A2Hosting and GeekStorage.

Average full page load time of InMotionHosting (the winner) was 0.81 seconds (it’s very fast). Its Uptime was 99.95% (pretty good) And its Satisfactory Apdex was 99.75% (i.e. 99.75% of time the full page load time was less than 2.5 seconds – it’s very good). All these parameters are great and much above the benchmarks specified for the great performance. And since this hosting was the fastest host among the hosts which exceeded all the benchmarks determined for the great hosts InMotionHosting wins the gold.

The silver medal goes to A2Hosting. it was very close the the winner in the matter of speed but just little behind.

In July 2016 A2Hosting was on average as fast as 0.92 seconds that is just 0.11 seconds slower than the leader.A2Hosting‘s uptime was 99.98% which is brilliant. Its Satisfactory Apdex was perfect 100% (i.e. 100% of all time full page load time of my website hosted with it was less than 2.5 seconds). Very good results!

The bronze medalist is GeekStorage. It’s a great host which performance has been staying superb from the very beginning since the day one when I started monitoring it. Very solid third place!

GeekStorage performed in July 2016 as fast as 1.02 second which is close to the leaders. Its uptime was perfect 100%. And the Satisfactory Apdex was 99.93% (99.93% of all time the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds, very high result).

I’d like to emphasize that GeekStorage performed not only much above the highest standards, but it was just one of the two hosts which had 100% uptime this month. 100% uptime is hard to achieve.

Squidix has also shown great performance and took the 4th place: speed (1.26 seconds, just a little behind the winner group), superb uptime (99.99%) and Satisfactory Apdex (99.82%, among the top performers). The performance is all much above the highest standards. In general standings this hosting took the 4th place (the competition is very strong).

SiteGround was exactly as great as Squidix, but just 0.11 seconds slower (yes, although the difference is very little and can’t be even noticed by users, in this Contest it still determines the standings). So, the 5th place for SiteGround with great performance (1.33 sec full page load time, 99.99% uptime, 99.82% Satisfactory Apdex).

HostWinds took the 6th place. Its uptime (99.9%) was exactly on the edge of the benchmark. If it were even a tiny bit less, the host would fall down to the second half of the standings. Its other performing values are quite good though (1.44 seconds full page load time, 99.89% Satisfactory Apdex).

LunarPages has taken the 7th place. it has demonstrated a good performance. Its speed was 1.46 seconds, great uptime 99.99%, strong Satisfactory Apdex 99.79%.

Although HawkHost is on the 8th place, it’s the other host which managed to get 100% uptime this month (the first host is GeekStorage). It’s very good for a budget hosting. Its other performing values are above the highest standards and pretty good: speed 1.59 seconds, Satisfactory Apdex 99.79% (e.g. 99.79% of the time my site with this host was faster than 2.5 secs).

StableHost has been breathing down HawkHost’s neck this month. The same speed (1.59 secs), but a little bit less uptime (99.96%) and Satisfactory Apdex (99.65%) which are great results anyway and much above the highest standards. In the general standings StableHost is on the 9th place.

VeeroTech is the old fellow which has always been quite fast but its other performing values are just a little bit below the highest standards determined for the bests hosts. And that’s why it can not be granted a winner hosting price. It could easily take much above its competitors but due to its Satisfactory Apdex (98.69%) which is just a bit below the benchmark 99% this host is not considered to be a winner in its category. Its uptime was great (99.98%). It’s sad, but rules are rules and VeeroTech goes just to the 10th place.

Eleven2 is on the 11th place. With its uptime (99.89%) it did not meet the uptime benchmark a bit. However its speed was not bad (1.55 seconds) and Satisfactory Apdex was not bad (99.69%).

MochaHost goes to the 12th place. Its main issue is low uptime (99.42%). Although it improved to some extent compared to the previous month, it still did not meet the neccesary standards. Its Satisfactory Apdex was good enough (99.07%), as well as its speed (1.55 seconds).

GreenGeeks is a newcomer in this Contest and its entrance was not great – only the 13th place. There was no luck with uptime (just 99.77%), which is not great. Although its other performing values were not bad: speed was 1.6 seconds and Satisfactory Apdex was 99.38%.

And the outsider is GlowHost. This host could not get from the last place again. This month it showed good uptime (99.96%), but it’s speed was still bad (2.6 seconds). Its Satisfactory Apdex (60.34%) was far below the benchmarks. No chance for this host to get higher in this Contest standings if it does not improve its speed.

Generally, the competition this month was pretty tough among the leaders. Majority of the hosts have met the highest standards and the hosting had to be the fastest to win the Contest.

By the way, keep in mind, that for this Contest I pick out the hosts which are considered to be good, great and superb. These hosts are established businesses for many years and some of them are widely recommended in the Internet. So, the idea of this Contest is to determine the best performing hosts from a technical point of view, giving you objective information for making your own decision regarding hosts.

Let’s see now the results in tables and charts for more convenience, more information and more insight.

Here’s a table view to compare the Hosting Performance Contest results in July 2016:


Table column notes:
Place: The place a hosting has won in this Contest (the less the better).
Load Time: Average Full Page Load Time (the less the better). Checked every 15 minutes.
Uptime: Uptime (the more the better). Checked every minute.
Uptime OK: If Uptime Benchmark (99.9%) passed (YES is very good, NO is not very good).
Apdex-S: Satisfactory Apdex, i.e. how often a test website on a tested hosting was loading faster than 2.5 sec (the more the Apdex-S the better). Checked every 15 minutes.
Apdex-S OK: If Satisfactory Apdex benchmark (99%) passed (YES is very good, NO is not very good).

Here’s a table with hosting prices:


1 year: Regular prices (after the first invoice) for 1-year plan.
2 years: Regular prices (after the first invoice) for 2-year plan.
3 years: Regular prices (after the first invoice) for 3-year plan.
Min Price: The minimum price officially available for the first invoice (can be for 1-year, 2-year or 3-year plan).
*StableHost discount code is given in my review.
Limited-time offers with more discounts are not included in these prices. Check out if there are special offers currently available by visiting the hosting websites.
Worthy: This column contains my recommended hosts. (Under review label means that the host is a newcomer which performs not bad or has potential in winning prizes in the Contest and I want to have proved records of its performance for a couple of months.)

Here’s a table with places within pricing categories:

Since it’s not always correct to compare hosts from different price categories together, I’ve broken down the monitored hosts into three categories to compete within as you can see above in the table.

The prices presented in this table are regular prices (i.e. applied after the first invoice). Note that prices for the first invoice (1-,2- or 3-year plan) are usually less (see them in the previous table). And special promo prices are not included (check them out on the hosting websites).

And here are the charts with the Hosting Performance Contest results in July 2016:

 

 

 

July 2016 Hosting Performance Contest Results – Notes


I use monitis.com services for uptime and full page load monitoring. The monitoring is performed from two locations in order to decrease chances of false alerts and make monitoring results more objective. You can read more about my methodology of monitoring here.

Here are the monthly monitoring reports screenshots:

hosting performance contest July 2016 - uptime monitoring report

These monitor checks are performed with 1-minute interval, which makes it great for detecting website uptime and downtime.

So, we need Uptime values from this table for finding the winner of our Contest.
By the way, downtime is detected if server response time (time-to-first-byte) is more than 10 seconds.

Other values (just for information):
Response time is not that important for this Contest, because I’ve got a better indicator monitored, which is Full page load time (see below).
Number of failures may be interesting to look at, but this is just an additional information to Uptime, which is more important for the overall hosting evaluation.

Only three last hosts on the screenshot have not passed the uptime benchmark test for great hosting. The other hosts I’m monitoring were up more than 99.9% in July. Websites on the three failed hosting were not available for more than 44.6 minutes in total in this month.

Here are some uptime details for the hosts in the order of the places the hosts took in the Contest in July 2016:

InMotionHosting had pretty good uptime 99.95%. It was not available 0.05% of the time which equals about 22.3 minutes this month.

A2Hosting had 99.98% uptime (and not available for about 9 minutes).

GeekStorage had a perfect uptime (100%). Not a minute of being unavailable!

Squidix had a very high uptime (99.99%). The site on this hosting was not available 0.01% of the time in July (less than 4.5 minutes). Nearly perfect.

SiteGround was also nearly perfect with 99.99% uptime. Superb result.

HostWinds stands on a thin ice with 99.9% uptime. It’s a good result, but if it dropped even by very little, the host would have been disqualified from the fight for the gold in July. It was not available for 44.6 minutes this month.

LunarPages showed very good uptime 99.99%. And 0.01% (about 4.5 minutes) being unavailable is a solid result.

HawkHost was simply perfect with 100% uptime. Only two hosts in this month Contest could perform with no single minute of access failure, because it’s not easy to achieve. For the budget host it’s a brilliant result.

StableHost had 99.96% uptime. It makes 0.04% (17.9 minutes) when the site on this host was not available. Very good result for this affordable host.

VeeroTech performed very well with 99.98% uptime. My site hosted with it was not available 0.02% (a bit less than 8.9 minutes) in July. Very good for the affordable host like this. Uptime for my other testing account (Veerotech-2 on the screenshot) also passed the benchmark for great hosts.

Eleven2 keeps on improving its uptime compared to the previous month. But still did not get to the green zone above 99.9% which is one of the benchmarks for a great host. My website on this host was up 99.89%, which means no one could access my website on this hosting 0.11% of the time in this month (equals to 49.1 minutes).

MochaHost failed nearly as badly as the previous month. Just 99.42% uptime and accordingly 0.58% of time being not available. From user point of view it was down for 4.32 hours. Pretty bad.

GreenGeeks failed with its uptime. 99.77% uptime and 0.23% (1.7 hours) being down from a user point of view. Not good enough.

GlowHost, unlike some previous months, passed uptime tests (99.96%). It was not available 0.04% of the time (17.9 minutes). It was pretty good this month.

hosting performance contest July 2016 - full page load monitoring report


These tests are performed with 15-minute interval. It makes it a perfect real-user performance monitor. This monitor’s activity is equal to 192 unique visitors per day (about 5,760 unique visitors per month).

Avg Test Duration is the Full page load time, which is very clear and important factor for the Hosting Performance Contest.

We don’t need Uptime from this table because we have got a better (more precise) Uptime indicator from the previous table.

Also, we don’t need Failures from this table, because it’s less precise than the same indicator from the previous table.

But we will need Apdex, particularly its S (Satisfactory) part. This shows how much time (in %) the website loaded faster than 2.5 seconds. I call it Satisfactory Apdex.

InMotionHosting won the gold because it has passed both benchmark tests (Uptime and Satisfactory Apdex) and had the best Full page load time (0.81 sec) among the hosts which have also passed both benchmarks. Very well done in July!

A2Hosting was quite close to the winner, but being a little bit slower (0.92 sec) made it the second with the silver medal. Very good!

GeekStorage was very close to the first two in regards hosting speed (1.02 sec). Very solid third place and the bronze medal in result!

Squidix was great in July. It was as fast as 1.26 seconds full page load time.

SiteGround was among the best performing hosts. 1.33 seconds was the full page load time in July. The fourth place in general standings is a very good result with this kind of performance.

HostWinds performed well in this month. Its speed was 1.44 seconds which is very good. Its uptime and Satisfactory Apdex were good enough to make this host take this relatively high place in the contest.

LunarPages was also fast (1.46 seconds full page load time). Very good results for the the most budget plan I’m using.

HawkHost was pretty fast (1.59 seconds). But what makes it really special in this month is its 100% uptime. Great performance overall.

StableHost performed almost as great as HawkHost. Its speed was also 1.59 sec and just a little lower (but still great) uptime which made StableHost take a bit lower place in this Contest.

VeeroTech could easily win a prize in its category, because it was pretty fast – 1.33 seconds. But its Satisfactory Apdex was less than the benchmark. Again, like the previous month, in July VeeroTech was not far from getting a prize. Alas, but for now it’s swallowing dust from better performing hosts.

Eleven2, like in previous months, did not satisfy the strict rules of passing the benchmarks. So it goes closer to the end of the list with its speed 1.55 seconds.

MochaHost had generally a good speed (1.55 sec). But it failed hard in uptime benchmarks. That’s why it did not have a chance to fight for the prize in the Contest this month.

GreenGeeks was quite fast in general (1.6 seconds full page load time), but my site with it was too often not available (99.77%) which made it be almost the last in this month Contest.

GlowHost was not fast (2.60 sec). It’s already a tradition for this host to fail badly with speed. Its Satisfactory Apdex was too low (60.34%). Of course, it did not meet the highest standards for great hosting. Only the last place (again) in this Contest.

Conclusion

Thus, the best hosts which have demonstrated amazing performance in July 2016 are the medalists: InMotionHosting, A2Hosting and GeekStorage. By the way, exactly the same leaders were in the previous month. The strong gang!

Very close to the ultimate leaders in regards of the hosting performance go Squidix and SiteGround. These five best performing hosts are from two pricing categories – the higher one ($8-10/mo) and the middle one ($4-8/mo).

Thus, the best hosts in the higher pricing category ($8-10/mo) in July 2016 are InMotionHosting, A2Hosting and Squidix.

The best hosts in the middle pricing category ($4-8/mo) in July 2016 are GeekStorage, SiteGround and HostWinds.
By the way, GeekStorage, although it’s more affordable than some of the other hosts in this Contest, it took the second place in general standings. Moreover, its uptime was 100%, which is outstanding. Kudos to Geek Storage hosting!

The best hosts in the most affordable pricing category (up to $4/mo) in July 2016 are LunarPages (I’m using its cheapest plan without cPanel), HawkHost and StableHost. By the way, HawkHost is a special this month due to its perfect uptime 100% which is hard to achieve (the other host which could perform with 100% uptime is GeekStorage, but it’s from the middle pricing category).

All the winners have passed the strict benchmarks determined for great hosting.

It’s interesting that some hosts from a lower pricing category outperform hosts from a higher pricing category. Although there’s some correlation between price and hosting performance, this correlation is not very strong (especially for the hosts in the middle and the budget pricing categories).


P.S.: Past and future Hosting Performance Contest results are (and will be) published on this page.
Also, you can see real-time performance charts of the hosts I monitor as well as historical data on the hosting performance on this page.
Other monthly roundups of this Hosting Performance Contest are available here.
And my recommended hosts are here.

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